Breaking News

Owls fade, but remain in contention at NCAA Championship

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — An ever-changing leaderboard had four teams, including Kenyon College, swapping spots throughout Thursday’s third round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship at Boulder Creek Golf Course. When the round came to a close, the Owls were holding down fourth place.

On three or four occasions during the round, Kenyon jumped up to first place, but each time it did, defending champion Carnegie Mellon University wrested it away. Heading toward tomorrow’s final round, the Tartans are in first place at 15-under-par (849) after going eight-under on the day. Methodist University and University of Redlands are just a stroke back with three-round totals at 14-under-par (850). Kenyon, which appeared to run out of steam late in the day, posted a two-over 290 and moved to fourth place with a three-round total that’s nine-under-par (855).

The Owls, led by first-year Jonathan Oakes, played brilliantly for most of the day. At one point, with about four holes to play, they were in first place at five-under for the day and 16-under for the tournament. 

Play then backed up on hole No. 16 and groups were waiting three deep. From that point, any momentum Kenyon had disappeared. The Owls, counting all five golfers, shot eight-over-par on the final four holes. By contrast, they played the first 14 holes at three-under par.

Oakes, who had a tremendous day, was not immune to the bitter end. He stormed out of the gates with a four-under-par (32) front nine that included three birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the par-five fifth hole. He stayed at four-under through hole No. 14 and then bogeyed three of the last four holes, leaving him at one-under (71) for the day. 

Fellow first-year Jaiden Koonar worked diligently to get to one-under through 14 holes. He lifted Kenyon with an eagle on No. 16, but that was surrounded by two bogeys and one double on the last four holes. He finished at one-over (73) for the day.

Garrett Thesing and Armand Ouellette, the first two Kenyon players to work their way through the slow play, had the most success on the final four holes, each playing them at one-over. Thesing, a senior, wrapped up his round with an even-par 72, while Ouellette, a junior, checked out at two-over (74).

Will Hulsey, a Kenyon sophomore, also got through the final four holes at one-over, thanks to a birdie on hole No. 17. He finished the day at three-over-par (75).

A look at the updated individual leaderboard has Koonar in a tie for third place at six-under (210) for the tournament. Oakes, who carded a 71 each day, is at three-under (213) and in a seven-way tie for 14th place. Hulsey is in a tie for 37th place at one-over (217). Thesing is tied for 48th place at three-over (219) and Ouellette is tied for 63rd at six-over (222) in the field of 221 golfers.

Kenyon has one more shot at things in what appears to be a four-horse race. The field returns to Boulder Creek Golf Course on Friday and the Owls get their final round going at 8:50 a.m. (PDT).

Throughout its long history, the Kenyon golf program’s best finish at an NCAA Championship was 15th place (2022). 

Check Also

Kenyon women list four on CSC Academic All-District Team

GAMBIER, Ohio — A quartet of Kenyon College Owls were named to the 2024 Academic …